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Jerusalem Embassy: Why Trump's Move was not About Peace

Last edited 15th May 2018

Jerusalem Embassy: Why Trump's Move was not About Peace

"Our greatest hope is for peace." Those were the words of Donald Trump in a recorded message at the Jerusalem ceremony.

But the opening line in White House talking points cut straight to the top priority: "President Donald J Trump keeps his promise."

Mr Trump decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because he likes to keep campaign promises made to his base.

He also likes to make big bold historic moves, especially if that means delivering where his predecessors did not.

So far so good on the principles of Trumpian foreign policy.

In this case, his base also lobbied hard for the move. That included right-wing American Jews whose message was amplified by the conservative orthodox Jews dominating Mr Trump's inner circle.

It also included evangelicals whose voice was amplified by the devout Christian in the White House, Vice-President Mike Pence.

"God decided Jerusalem was the capital of Israel more than 3,000 years ago during the time of King David," I was told by Dallas evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who cited Biblical history. He and another leading voice in the pro-Israel part of the Christian world delivered prayers at the opening ceremony.

So what about the peace process?

"The United States remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement," Mr Trump also said in his recorded message.

He has declared an interest in solving the "toughest deal of all" and, despite the outrage over Jerusalem, the White House is still intent on rolling out a detailed initiative of a settlement it thinks is achievable.

Its authors - Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his lawyer Jason Greenblatt - concluded that shaking up the status quo could help their efforts by giving the Palestinians a dose of reality, says former Mid-East negotiator Aaron David Miller.

They also thought the Palestinians would eventually rally and resume contact after their initial shock and anger, according to the New York Times. So far they have not.

And the Palestinian deaths in Gaza make that prospect even less likely.

Read the full article on BBC News by clicking the link below.

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